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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A politician from the Democratic machine of Chicago "gets even"

Chicago is known for its politics especially it's local Democratic machine which reached its apex during the 1950s and 1960s. It's probably still a force although not the force that it once was. Even today we still have remnants that are still active.

Then we had an elderly gentleman named Ed Kelly who was part of this machine and has been around politics for a long time. He got up through city government using his "clout" to get himself a job in city government. In fact he served many years in the Chicago Park District, and he was elected a Democrat ward committeeman.

He talks a lot about Mayor Richard J. Daley and then Mayor Harold Washington apparently says little about Mayor Richard M. Daley but had this to say about our current Mayor Rahm Emanuel:
I feel sorry for Rahm, I really do. Rahm had no idea what he was getting into. Rahm’s not a Chicago guy. He’ll never be a Chicago guy. He’s not a street guy. He’s trying to be, but he’s not. He’s a suburbanite. He’s not a Chicagoan, he really isn’t. He’s smart, very smart. I think what he inherited is going to continue on, he’s going to find out more problems, money problems and things.
Wow! Perhaps Emanuel did get in over his head a bit and I think I can agree the Mayor spent many years away from the city as a Congressman or even as he grew up and started his adult life. Perhaps his career wasn't entirely conducive to being a big city mayor. Especially with the issues he began to take on as Chicago's mayor.

BTW, this may well add credence to the idea that Emanuel is only using this office as a stepping stone for much bigger ambitions. Those charges are out there he wants to be Governor or President. Those of course have come from somewhere, yes?

You should read the entire article about Mr. Ed Kelly.

Monday, August 18, 2014

USA Today: Chaos, violence in #Ferguson; National Guard called in

I've been following this situation actually since I learned a St. Louis, Missouri Alderman had been arrested in some of the unrest. While there were some quiet in the unrest, now the state of Missouri is calling in the national guard:
Another night of chaos and violence gave way to an uneasy quiet Monday as residents cleaned up from looting and vandalism and awaited the arrival of the National Guard.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the Guard into Ferguson hours after police cited "pre-planned" acts of aggression by protesters. Sunday night and early Monday morning, protesters shot at police, threw Molotov cocktails at officers, looted businesses and carried out a "coordinated attempt" to block roads and overrun the police's command center, Nixon's office said in a statement.

The National Guard will "help restore peace and order and to protect the citizens of Ferguson," the statement said.

The predominantly black city of 21,000 on the outskirts of St. Louis has been under siege since Aug. 9, when white police officer Darren Wilson, 28, fatally shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. Protesters have been met with a heavy police presence, resulting in fierce nightly clashes.
There's a video with the report and it also stated autopsy report of Michael Brown who was unarmed and shot by police which sparked the unrest there.
On Sunday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a federal autopsy on Brown's body. Hours later, reports began surfacing that the private autopsy performed at the request of Brown's family determined he was shot at least six times, including twice in the head and four times in the right arm.

Benjamin Crump told USA TODAY the preliminary autopsy reports shows Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head but not in the back.

"It verifies the worst that the family thinks happened -- that he was executed," Crump said. "It confirms what the witnesses said, that this was an execution. That's what the witnesses said from day one."
I must find more on this autopsy to be fair...
The findings came Sunday after a preliminary private autopsy, the second performed on Brown, by Michael M. Baden, former chief medical officer for the state of New York, at the request of the Brown family. The first autopsy was performed by the St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s office.

“There were at least six entry wounds, there might have been seven, but we’ll have to correlate that with what was found in the first autopsy,” Baden, who retired from the New York state police in 2011, told the Wall Street Journal.

He cautioned against drawing conclusions from the autopsy. “Right now there is too little information to forensically reconstruct the shooting,” he told the Times, but added: “In my capacity as the forensic examiner for the New York State Police, I would say, ‘You’re not supposed to shoot so many times.’”

He also told the Times about Brown’s head wounds.

“This one here looks like his head was bent downward,” he said, indicating a wound at the top of Brown’s head. “It can be because he’s giving up, or because he’s charging forward at the officer.”
So now we know more about what happened to him and unfortunately things haven't calmed down in Ferguson. One issue that seems to keep coming up during the course of this unrest is the militarization of police. Some criticized the response of the police there which prompted the State of Missouri to send in their state police under the command of a Capt. Ron Johnson pictured below:
Now he's the one that has to preside over the unrest that was sparked again last night. It seems he helped to calm things down in Ferguson. And I still hopes things calm down there soon.

BTW, that St. Louis Ald. Antonio French remains in Ferguson to cover the story. This is an interesting update, not that I've seen much about the police chief there but I get the idea he was maintaining a hardline. Now it seems if you believe this post that this experience has changed him.
May there be peace in Ferguson, Missouri.

Spam comment...

Last week, I posted about "Internet domains & hosting". The comment above was successfully posted to the blog, however, it was a spam message. It was very fitting however it was still considered spam and eventually I marked it as such.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What's going on in Ferguson, Missouri???

To be honest, I haven't really been following closely the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. After the shooting death of an unarmed Black teenaged male by police there there have been some unrest there. I've seen a number of social media blurbs on this situation so far, but not followed very closely.

I found out via Reason that a St. Louis, Missouri Alderman - Antonio French - who had been tweeting about the unrest had been arrested. This is news to me because I've followed Ald. French for a number of years now although not always consistent.

Ald. French once operated a political/urban website PubDef before he had been elected to the St. Louis Board of Alderman in 2009. He probably was following the unrest as the journalist he had been known as before becoming a public official. That I can respect, unfortunately he was sent to jail for it.

BTW, I found an article that stated that he was freed from police custody. The reason for the arrest according to him, he didn't listen. HMMM!

I'm only now attempting to figure out what happened in Ferguson. So I don't want to comment, but it was stated that this teen had been unarmed which makes this puzzling. So why did this young man get shot?

Then I thought about what happened in New York with another Black man being manhandled by police and he gets choked to death. Not entirely certain what happened there but somehow this man caught the attention of police there.

These are seemingly both cases of excessive force and unfortunately both of them involved Black men. Both of these cases got noticed by users of social networking and causing controversy. I hope the facts come out and hopefully things will calm down in Ferguson.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams

To be honest, I hadn't thought a whole lot of Robin Williams lately. Yet this recent news of his death by suicide had come as a shock. That makes this news even more sad!

Robin Williams had been in the public eye for almost 40 years. I remember his Mork & Mindy TV series and he's known for the movie Mrs. Doubtfire. As a matter of fact that movie annoyed me so much the two times that my nephews had come to Chicago and it seemed that was the only movie they wanted to watch.

Of course there were other movies he was in. I liked One Hour Photo when I saw it years ago and he's also known for Dead Poets Society and Good Morning Vietnam. I also remember him from Popeye and he played the title character.

He also had a TV series recently that got cancelled titled, The Crazy Ones. He was always busy and provided humorous memories not only to us his fans and admirers, but to surely his friends and family. It truly has to be sad to them.

This brings me to this point.

We never know what causes people to come to this point. Hopefully this brings greater awareness to mental illness or more accurately depression. There are people who are suffering through depression or any other mental illness.

To be sure, this condition is dangerous as you may never know what darkness lies inside of people and whether or not it surfaces. For example, the darkness could cause someone to harm themselves of others and even if they only harm themselves it's certainly would be hard on those who truly know them. The unfortunate thing is whether or not anyone could bring them out of this darkness.

Another issue with mental illness is probably hard to comprehend. We may know something is wrong, but do THEY know. With mental illness the person in question may not realize there is a problem they think they're normal and may believe something is wrong with everyone else.

All the same it's not my role to play psychologist with regards to Robin Williams. We also know that he has issues with substance abuse, but as it turns out he had been having problems. It has been noted that he also had been seeking treatment for depression so this isn't entirely new news.

The only thing anyone can hope is that anyone is suffering from anytime of mental illness seek treatment. And here's hoping that lives would be saved by this awareness and encouraging people to seek treatment.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Never quit a job until you've found another one...

There have been times I wish it was this simple. They say it's easier to find a job if you already have a job. In my case I have a job, but the new job so far has continued to elude me. This column is for those of us who play it safe, and yes it is best to line something up before you quit a job.

It's either that or go back to school full-time. ;)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Internet domains & hosting

Over the years on the internet I have played with the idea of a website although unsure about the execution. The late 90s was my first experience with the internet and saw that internet users could create their own webpages but it seemed to take lots of work. At that, what would be the purpose of such a website.

I played around with GeoCities in the early 2000s. It was as much a profile as it was a website, my Geocities site was akin to an FB profile than it was anything else. The only difference was that no one sent you friends requests or anything like that. It just displayed my identity, my interests and some pictures uploaded the "old fashioned way" by scanning prints.

By 2005 I started this blog utilizing Blogger and most of my attention went to blogging. Now there's a purpose to having a website and it already helps to already follow politics or other types of news such as sports, entertainment, Chicago, education, etc. It also helps that I could write in the first place - even with some of the mistakes you may find here lol.

Within the past month I had bought a domain name for one of my other blogs - The Sixth Ward. It was something that had been considered for a long time and it was finally executed. That blog also uses Blogger and with that service the domain name could be used for the blog with the domain being used as the primary blog address.

It doesn't take up as much effort and time as WordPress seems to. This is something that's already in my experience - Unconventional Wisdom - although so far the only work WordPress required was to upload the software to a hosting server. Then of course you have to keep updating the software and there are some other incidentals depending upon how popular a particular site is.

BTW, there was a time that Blogger would allow you to use FTP to upload blog posts to a host. In fact it was experimented with on my end primarily with the provided hosting of an ISP. Blogger cut that out years ago and at least the blog could be hosted on Blogger servers and if you prefer the use of a domain which could be directed to a particular blog.

Now that there is a domain name for one of my main blogs, perhaps it's time to take this hobby of mine to the next level. Is it time to purchase a domain for THIS blog and then purchase some hosting space? Perhaps that question will be answered in the near future.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

How do I learn more about urban planning?

aerial photo of 63rd/Halsted Englewood
Last year I wrote about this "dreaded G word" over at my other blog - The Sixth Ward. It was in relation to the news that Whole Foods Market was coming into a low-income neighborhood in Chicago. That neighborhood is the south side's Englewood.

The point I was making was to address the concerns of the dreaded G word - gentrification - as it relates to Whole Foods which is basically a high-end grocer coming to a low-income neighborhood. Over the years in Chicago we've heard so much about a "food desert" where many Chicagoans don't have easy access to fresh produce and healthy foods. One means to attack this issue have been bringing in grocers in those areas were grocery stores are few and far in between.

But Whole Foods Market in Englewood of all places? Many nickname this place Whole Paychek, when I go in there the few items I have purchase could easily go up to $20 and it didn't take much for the bill to go up that high. I'm saying this recognizing that's a walk in the park compared to the bills of many other people who shop at a grocery store in general. Besides if you regularly pay $100 for groceries periodically, imagine how much the bill would be if you purchase that same amount from Whole Foods.

Either way since then I've periodically taken a look at this issue. Much more recently I showed some footage of a ceremonial ground breaking and the politicians and Whole Foods executives were saying the right things. While the issue of prices still keep coming up most of the coverage indicate that the products to be carried in this future store to open in 2016 will be affordable to residents of Englewood.

All the same the issue also is whether or not Whole Foods coming to Englewood is the start of movement. Will the many low-income residents of Englewood may in the near future find themselves forced to find another neighborhood to call home?

Not an easy answer to that question and the affordability question. To be sure, I only wish I knew more about urban planning so that there would be an better solution for everyone.

BTW, recently I learned that the west side of Chicago has a former grocery store - a former Moo & Oink -  looking for a tenant. If anyone fantasizes about another Chicago area grocer such as Mariano's come to that part of town they would be disappointed. Mariano's may not be quite right for the west side area for this former grocery store. So how is Englewood right for Whole Foods?

ALSO, another aspect of urban planning that I wish to understand is what it takes to bring certain types of retailers or businesses to a given area. Or indeed what it takes to attract these amenities to a community that certainly needs them. Will low-income people shop at a Whole Foods Market for example? If you build it will they come or will someone with the necessary income become regular shoppers?

Read more Whole Foods posts at The Sixth Ward!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Visiting Comiskey Park Wednesday

On Thursday Wednesday I went to a Chicago White Sox game. I had some connections and found myself in the club level of Comiskey Park (aka US Cellular Field).

Incidentally my first trip to a MLB ballpark was when I was a child. Unfortunately I had no idea what was going on at either Wrigley Field or the old Comiskey Park which was razed in the early 1990s when the Sox moved to their current digs.

So, it was a great experience to watch a live MLB game with the Sox taking on the Texas Rangers. I had cut out after the 8th inning unfortunately and this game proved to be a losing effort with a final score of 3-1 in favor of the Rangers.

Both teams seemed to have been good on defense which often takes fielding as much a pitching. Alas defense is nothing without scoring some runs. The Sox managed one home run but not much offense to get past the Rangers.

The food items were good. A nacho supreme and a bacon cheeseburger - which seemed a bit undercooked but yet I ate it. All the same the food items get a thumbs up especially for one of the few times I was a professional sport live at the arena!

Sooner or later I need to find my way back to Wrigleyville. I also dream and talk about it but somehow unable to make it happen. Perhaps it's all hot air, but it's something that needs to happen in the future.

When it does a pic is going to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and another blog post here!

Monday, August 04, 2014

Capitol Fax: Shooting for viral

[VIDEO] So it's campaign season here in Illinois. So Rich Miller is taking a look at campaign videos that could go viral. He starts with videos produced by the gubernatorial campaigns of Gov. Quinn & Bruce Rauner and shows that Rauner has more views on his videos although not to viral levels. The video above is what Miller hopes to go viral.

And that begs the question for anyone involved with political videos. What does it take to make a video go viral?

Sunday, August 03, 2014

So families depending less on student loans for a college education

Well, it's certainly a good thing that I see this article. Just read the blockquotes provided by Instapundit and suggests that college families are relying less on student loans these days for school. In addtion, American universities are attempting to lure students with grants and scholarships and relying less on loans.

Wow, our universities are stepping up the plate with their own offers and parents of prospective college students are making sure they're getting the best deals (dicker). It drives the point home that parents and students know that going to a unversity isn't much different than finding the best deal on a automobile or a house.

It reminds me of how unfamiliar I was with financial aid when I first started going to college. I believed that the FAFSA would pay for everything but was very unaware of what they actually offered. That was me being naive and possibly having an entitlement mentality.

That said, if this is something any young person wants find a way to make it happen and make sure it's what you want. A college degree is too expensive to merely flip, flop, and flounder!